Magufuli fires regional chief over ghost workers

 Tanzanian leader John Magufuli

Tanzanian leader John Magufuli

Anne Kilango Malecela, the Shinyanga Regional Commissioner in Tanzania on Monday became the latest victim of President John Pombe Mugufuli’s war on graft, 27 days since her appointment on March 13.

The President announced the decision following the commissioners’ media briefing where among other things she announced that the region had no ghost workers.

But in a twist of events, the office of the president through the Directorate of presidential communications announced that Malecela had been terminated with immediately effect after State House preliminary investigations revealed that the region had 45 ghost workers on its payroll.

The statement also announced that the president had also fired the regional administrative secretary pending investigations into the matter.

Analyst immediately welcomed the sackings, referring to them as a lesson to other senior government appointees.
Trade Unions Congress of Tanzania (TUCTA) Secretary General Nicolas Mgaya commended the president’s move but cautioned that much is needed to tackle graft at grass-root level.

He said statistical figures point out that the country has been losing a whopping Tzsh 40 bn to ghost workers, adding that government should tighten grip on corruption if it is to improve salaries of state workers across the country.

“Ghost workers are a crisis to the government. The RC has been fired yet there are other directors who are manipulating payroll systems and these are costing the government,” he said.

Prof Humphrey Mushi, an economist with the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) speaking on economic setbacks drawn as a result of ghost workers said: “Such faults lead to unnecessary government expenditures. “ The most disturbing fact is that salaries and other allowances are paid to people who don’t exist and they as well don’t produce,” “This indeed, increases recurrent expenditure and subsequently affect development budgets,” he added.